Tags: christie | cuomo | agreed | false | bridge | report

Christie, Cuomo Agreed on False Bridge Report, Witness Says

Tuesday, 04 October 2016 03:05 PM

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a plan to issue a report that falsely blamed a communications failure at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for politically motivated lane closings that tied up traffic near the George Washington Bridge in 2013, according to testimony heard in a New Jersey trial.

Cuomo agreed to back the fake report because he didn’t want the gridlock at the bridge to escalate into a political problem for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who also approved the plan, according to testimony from David Wildstein, a key government witness at the trial of two of Christie’s former allies.

In October 2013, the governors agreed that the report by the Port Authority, a bi-state agency that runs the bridge, wouldn’t cite the true reason, which was to create gridlock that would punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for not backing Christie’s re-election, Wildstein said.

Wildstein said he was told that “if a report was issued that the Jersey side would take responsibility for it, that would put an end to this.” Christie, a Republican, and Cuomo, a Democrat, appoint the top people at the powerful agency, which is often riven by political rivalries between the states.

It wasn’t clear from Wildstein’s testimony how much, if anything, Cuomo knew about the real reason for the lane closings. A call and e-mail to Cuomo’s office weren’t immediately returned.

False Report

Wildstein’s testimony came as he was questioned by a lawyer for Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff. She is on trial in Newark with Bill Baroni, the Port Authority’s former deputy executive director.

The report wasn’t issued. But it formed the basis for false testimony that Baroni gave in late November 2013 to a legislative committee, saying the lane closings were part of a traffic study, Wildstein previously testified.

Wildstein also recounted a 2011 meeting at the State House rotunda in which he, Christie and the governor’s inner circle stood with Wildstein and admired a portrait of a former governor, Wally Edge. Wildstein spent a decade as an anonymous political blogger using the pseudonym Wally Edge.

Christie, he said, was having the painting moved from the third floor of the rotunda to the governor’s first-floor office.

Critchley seeks to show that Wildstein was a trusted member of Christie’s inner circle who carried far more influence than Kelly and therefore wouldn’t have needed her to pull off the lane closings.

The case is U.S. v. Baroni, 15-cr-00193, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

 

© Copyright 2019 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a plan to issue a report that falsely blamed a communications failure at the Port Authority of New York New Jersey for politically motivated lane closings that tied up traffic near the George Washington Bridge in 2013,...
christie, cuomo, agreed, false, bridge, report
425
2016-05-04
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 03:05 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved